PVCFreeBloodBag - Public healthcare and plastics makers demonstrate how to remove barriers to PVC-free blood bags in the spirit of REACH

LIFE10 ENV/SE/000037

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Contact details:

Contact person: Lena Stigh
Tel: +46 70 6992730
Email: lena.stigh@jegrelius.se

Project description:


The presence of PVC in blood bags causes exposure to DEHP plasticiser and PVC plastics during blood transfusions. In an oligopolistic market structure, suppliers have limited incentives to improve their environmental performance. This is particularly true when new innovations compete with their existing products and represent a marginal percentage of their future turnover.


The environmental problem specifically addressed by this project is the lack of incentives among blood bag manufacturers to create PVC-free blood bags. The first objective of the PVCFreeBloodBag project is to demonstrate that public healthcare organisations and private plastics manufacturers can co-operate in removing barriers to a PVC-free blood bag. This innovative policy approach is a response to the EU’s REACH Regulation. If the innovative PVC-free blood bags prove to be too expensive for general use, they will be proposed for use by vulnerable groups. These include pregnant women, premature babies and people with chronic disease. The biggest use of blood bags is for haemodialysis. In the EU there are some 150 000 people that depend on frequent dialysis.

The project also aims to offer a material that manufacturers can use to replace PVC in other blood contact applications, as well as in other medical applications. Such applications may use 10 times more PVC than the amount used for blood bags. It will also offer the new material for use in food industry applications; the main source of exposure to DEHP/PVC is from contaminated food. Food contains DEHP derived from environmental contamination and bioaccumulation along the food chain, as well as from leaching during manufacturing, packaging and storage.

Expected results:

  • Demonstration of cooperation between public healthcare providers and specialist companies in working to remove barriers (such as the disinterest of major suppliers) to the emergence and uptake of green innovations;
  • The creation and CE accreditation of a prototype PVC-free blood bag, which has been tested in-vitro to ensure suitability for blood storage;
  • Demonstration of the profitability of clinical testing of the PVC-free blood bags;
  • Documented interest in applying the new blood bags from at least 15 organisations in five EU Member States;
  • Demonstrated support for replacing PVC blood bags with the new bags, as well as generally substituting PVC in the medical sector;
  • Achievement of 10% market share for PVC-free blood bags in Europe five years after the project ends.



Environmental issues addressed:


Services & Commerce - Healthcare - Social work
Industry-Production - Chemicals
Environmental management - Cleaner technologies


public health‚  clean technology‚  plastic‚  hazardous substance

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Jegrelius Institute for Applied Green Chemistry
Type of organisation Public enterprise
Description The mission of the Jegrelius Institute for Applied Green Chemistry is to use applied green chemistry to speed up work on the phasing out of hazardous substances in products by stimulating the entire chain, from demand to innovation and product development. The institute fulfils its mission through product development, advisory services and co-operative partnerships. Coordinated by Lena Stig at Jegrelius, one project is stimulating development of a non-toxic blood bag. The project, which will end this autumn, is financed by Vinnova.
Partners Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden Melitek A/S, Denmark Wipak Oy, Finland Totax Plastics A/S, Denmark Haemontronic Advanced Medical Technologies SpA, Italy


Project reference LIFE10 ENV/SE/000037
Duration 01-SEP-2011 to 01-SEP -2015
Total budget 2,204,464.00 €
EU contribution 1,091,040.00 €
Project location København Og Frederiksberg Kommuner(Danmark) Københavns amt(Danmark) Frederiksborg amt(Danmark) Roskilde amt(Danmark) Vestjællands amt(Danmark) Storstrøms amt(Danmark) Bornholms amt(Danmark) Fyns amt(Danmark) Sønderjyllands amt(Danmark) Ribe amt(Danmark) Vejle amt(Danmark) Ringkøbing amt(Danmark) Århus amt(Danmark) Viborg amt(Danmark) Nordjyllands amt(Danmark) Piemonte(Italia) Valle d'Aosta(Italia) Liguria(Italia) Lombardia(Italia) Trentino-Alto Adige(Italia) Veneto(Italia) Friuli-Venezia Giulia(Italia) Emilia-Romagna(Italia) Toscana(Italia) Umbria(Italia) Marche(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia) Abruzzo(Italia) Molise(Italia) Puglia(Italia) Basilicata(Italia) Calabria(Italia) Sicilia(Italia) Sardegna(Italia) Stockholm(Sverige) Östra Mellansverige(Sverige) Småland med Öarna(Sverige) Sydsverige(Sverige) Västsverige(Sverige) Norra Mellansverige(Sverige) Mellersta Norrland(Sverige) Övre Norrland(Sverige) Baltic Sea Sverige (S)(Sverige)


Read more:

Newsletter "Newsletter Nr1 2017: Final Seminars!" (1.63 MB)
Newsletter "Newsletter Nr1 2013: WANTED: PVC-free blood bag" ...
Newsletter "Newsletter Nr2 2013: Fishing for support!" (785 K ...
Newsletter "Newsletter Nr1 2016: New report!" (1.29 MB)
Newsletter "Newsletter Nr1 2015: Successful Tests!" (1.34 MB)
Poster "Would you buy a new type of blood bag?" (762 KB)
Project web site Project's website
Publication: Research findings "Monitoring of blood transfusion operations in EU- ...
Publication: Technical report "Life Cycle Assessment, LCA, of PVC Blood Bag" (1. ...
Slides Presentation "PVCfreeBloodBag.eu : Kick off Seminar Copenhagen, ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version